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Tampa — The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) selected the Stantec/Coast Autonomous team to provide Autonomous Mobility Services for the Marion Street Transitway. HART is a regional transportation authority charged with planning, financing, constructing and operating public transit facilities and service within Hillsborough County. The Marion Street Transitway project will be funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

This project includes the first deployment of shared automated vehicles (SAV) by a US transit agency that will function in an open environment with live and mixed traffic.  SAV deployments to-date in the United States have been on private land, and therefore have not interacted with mixed traffic outside of the private property.

On behalf of the HART/FDOT partnership, Stantec will provide program and project management and related infrastructure planning and design. Coast Autonomous is providing and operating its all new designed P-1 shuttle that is driven by Coast’s complete suite of autonomous software that includes mapping & localization, robotics & AI, fleet management and supervision systems. Quest Corporation will organize public outreach and education efforts.

Koorosh Olyai, senior principal with Stantec said, “Through this project, Tampa is demonstrating their leadership in the push to deploy urban-speed automated vehicles. We’re excited to be part of the team that helps HART set the standard for other agencies to follow across the nation.”

The Marion Street project is unique because it uses an existing transitway, yet crosses live traffic at eight signalized intersections, an active railroad, and will provide two electric self-driving vehicles along a half-mile north-south roadway in the center of downtown Tampa.  Currently, between the weekday hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., the corridor is for exclusive use of buses and emergency vehicles, so this presented a great opportunity to offer a space for an urban-speed, automated first and last mile shuttle service to function with limited mixed traffic.  The service would address mobility needs downtown by connecting the Marion Transit Center and parking to employment, and act as a catalyst for further automation in transportation throughout the Tampa Bay region.

The project will include the rollout of Coast Autonomous’ P-1 self-driving shuttle, which will be equipped with LiDAR sensors, stereo cameras, GPS, and V2X technology to transport passengers along the corridor during daytime hours.  Coast’s founder and chief technology officer, Pierre Lefevre, the father of low-speed AV technology and inventor of the world’s first commercially available autonomous shuttle, says, “With the HART project, we are rolling out our all-new Coast P-1 Shuttle, which Coast has designed for safe, passenger-friendly transportation.  With incorporated flexibility for size and shape, redundant safety applications, and a ground-breaking ‘built for autonomy,’ electric drivetrain, the Coast P-1 Shuttle sets an entirely new standard for the industry and allows us to cater proactively to our clients’ changing needs.”

As part of the project, the team will also study corridor improvement needs and deliver recommendations to HART. This program will operate in conjunction with HART’s broader public transportation network. Using this experienced team, HART is helping Tampa evolve their mobility options to bring Automated Driving System forward within a Connected Vehicle environment to Tampa.

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